What is your advice for amputees?
“The best piece of advice I’ve received about limb loss is having grace for yourself and others. It’s hard going through life looking so different, but giving people the grace to understand what it’s like to live with a disability.”
What does REBUILT. mean to you?
“Rebuilt to me means community. When I first got involved in the amputee community, all I felt was people building me up and telling me how much we can help each other! I am very fortunate to have a diverse community, from Paralympics, to the College Park team, and my social media, I am currently training for the 2024 Paris Paralympics in swimming, and I am a proud College Park ambassador.”
At 14 months old, Haven Shepherd lost both her legs below the knee in Vietnam. She miraculously survived her biological parents’ family suicide bombing. Just six months later in 2004, she was adopted by Shelly and Rob Shepherd and brought to the U.S. Since then, Haven has dedicated her life to pushing limits, helping others, and overcoming the odds. As a Paralympic swimmer, motivational speaker, lover of life, and ambassador for the Challenged Athletes Foundation, Haven instills hope and self-acceptance in each child. “I guess it’s all about perspective. I’ve never looked at not having legs as a negative,” she says.
Being an active person, I wanted a foot that can keep up with my lifestyle. I don’t want to be held back from being independent and active just because I’m an amputee. I do CrossFit using my Soleus, but it also helps me keep up on uneven terrain and stairs. I’ve never had a foot that comes close to meeting my needs like this one does. I can honestly say the Soleus changed my life.